After the convincing 3-0 victory over Ipswich, Queens Park Rangers are well and truly on a roll. Neil Warnock’s men have started the season like a freight train, beating opposition with notable force and proficiency scoring an impressive 17 goals and conceding only two.
Former R’s boss Paulo Sousa has made a slow start to life Leicester City and his first win finally came at home to promotion hopefuls Cardiff in midweek. Leicester came from behind to win 2-1 in a match they dominated. Prior to that the Foxes had failed to win in the league and have struggled losing three times most notably live on sky to Reading.
Both teams will be confident ahead of the match on Saturday but on recent form, dare I say QPR will be the favourites. This season there has been a pattern forming. Rangers who suffered shocking defeats last year to Middlesbrough (5-1) and Ipswich (3-0) have been correcting those results this year with convincing victories. So after last season’s 4-0 defeat to Leicester, QPR will be eager to once again atone for previous mistakes.
Ipswich Town 0
QPR 3 (Mackie x2, Helguson pen)
Team: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Walker, Kaspars Gorkss, Matthew Connolly, Clint Hill, Sean Derry Alejandro Faurlin (Buzsaky), Adel Taarabt (Leigertwood), Hogan Ephraim, Jamie Mackie (Tommy Smith), Heider Helguson.
Leicester City 2 (King x2)
Cardiff City 1 (Naylor)
Team: Carl Ikeme, Bruno Berner, Jack Hobbs, Robbie Neilson, Michael Morrison, Andy King (Abe), Lloyd Dyer, Matt Oakley, Richie Wellens, Steve Howard, Martyn Waghorn (Gallagher)
Leicester City Team News:
Paulo Sousa is expected to stick with the side that won in midweek so former R’s loanee Carl Ikeme should continue in goal as Chris Weale is a doubt with a shoulder injury. New signing Yuki Abe could feature but Matty Fryatt is expected to keep his place on the bench.
Hull City’s Kamil Zayatte who was a loan target for Leicester will not be joining the Foxes. Hull’s official website stated ‘The reasons for this are technical, administrative and financial in relation to the present emergency loan regulations.’
Neilson – Morrison – Hobbs – Berner
Dyer – King – Oakley – Wellens
Waghorn – Howard
Player to watch: Andy King
Andy King has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this week’s match against Leicester City.
For the One to Watch click here >>>
QPR Team News:
After picking up a groin injury against Ipswich, Alejandro Faurlin is out. Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage remained sidelined as does Rob Hulse. Martin Rowlands could make the squad but Fitz Hall remains a doubt.
The team should line-up similar to previous games with Akos Buzsaky replacing Ali Faurlin in the centre of the park alongside Shaun Derry. Tommy Smith will have to make do with a place on the bench after the continued form of Mackie and Ephraim.
Possible line up:
Walker – Connolly – Gorkss – Hill
Derry – Buzsáky
Mackie – Taarabt – Ephraim
Player to watch: Jamie Mackie
The man-marvel Mackie has had an electric start to his QPR career scoring six goals in six league appearances including the memorable 95th minute equaliser against Derby and sharp double against Ipswich. The in-form striker has been one of the signings of the summer and is very much enjoying life at Loftus Road.
Mackie started his career at Wimbledon and stayed on when the club was renamed MK Dons but soon moved to conference side Exeter. A relatively successful stay at Exeter led to league clubs such as Bristol City, Norwich, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town becoming interested in his signature.
Mackie handed in a transfer request before eventually signing for Plymouth Argyle for £125,000. Mackie remarkably scored 11 seconds into his debut against Barnsley after coming on as a substitute.
He went on to make 98 appearances for Plymouth scoring 16 times before moving to QPR this summer for a rumoured £100,000. At that price Jamie Mackie is proving to be a shrewd piece of business by Neil Warnock and is the Championship’s leading scorer.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WWDWW
Leicester City: LW LDW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 23
Leicester City: 20
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 5- 4 -10
Leicester City 4 (King, Waghorn x2, Howard)
Team: Carl Ikeme, Peter Ramage, Damion Stewart, Matt Hill, Kaspars Gorkss, Mikele Leigertwood, Hogan Ephraim, Adel Taarabt, Alejandro Faurlin, Lee Cook (Buzsaky), Jay Simpson (Balanta).
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: A Horton & N Smith
Fourth Official: G Stretton
Graham Scott is the match official for the game on Saturday and has officiated three games this season. His last game was Southampton’s convincing 4-0 victory over Bristol Rovers.
Last season Scott issued 94 yellow cards and five Red in 32 games.
To read more on see: Ref Watch
Without sounding over-confident QPR are in remarkable form and I can’t see a struggling Leicester side causing us too many problems. Rangers have a system that suits the majority of players and matches up well against most formations in this league. That being said it would be foolish to write off Leicester as we all know this is the Championship and everyone can beat everyone etc…
The way QPR have been playing it would take a very good side to stop us – I thought Ipswich would`ve been that team. I guess I was wrong. Will Leicester be the team to finally stop us? It’s possible but on current form not overly probable.
Leicester will try to be responsible defensively and attack with purpose. Steve Howard will be a threat in the air (as he always is) and Martyn Waghorn will run the channels. Andy King will need to be taken care of and without Ali Faurlin in the middle; King could have a bit more room to work in. Akos Buzsaky will be eager to prove his worth so I expect him to really turn it on and could be a good bet to grab a goal.
I think on paper QPR have a stronger side and are playing much better as a team than Leicester. The Foxes will be boosted by their recent victory and could be a different prospect to the side that lost to Reading, Palace and Burnley. But if QPR tighten up on Leicester`s key players then Rangers should edge it.
2-0 QPR win.
Who: Doncaster Rovers
Where: Loftus Road
When: Saturday September 25, 2010 – 1500